Dame Judi Dench missed the June 24 evening show of Amy's View and will be out of the play through the weekend, due to the illness of her husband, actor Michael Williams. Dench flew home to London on June 24.
"I am devastated to disappoint anyone who came to see me in the play," said Dench in a statement, "but because of the circumstances I am unable to perform."
Dench also bowed out of the June 23 performance of the David Hare play, resulting in a mass exodus from the Barrymore Theatre, leaving the ushers to move the remaining theatre goers from the mezzanine into the orchestra.
Dench's understudy, Jennifer Harmon, will go on as theatrical legend Esme Allen. Harmon, a member of APA-Phoenix Repertory for the last six years, has performed on Broadway in The School for Scandal, The Sisters Rosenzweig, Rumors and Blithe Spirit. Off-Broadway credits include Sylvia, In Perpetuity Throughout the Universe, Learned Ladies and Hot L Baltimore.
Dench won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her work in Amy's View. As Queen Elizabeth in "Shakespeare in Love," Dench won a 1999 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Other film work includes "M" in the most recent James Bond movies, Mistress Quickly in Kenneth Branagh's "Henry V" and her Oscar-nominated role as another queen (Victoria) in 1997's "Mrs. Brown." She has not been seen on Broadway since a 1958 U.S. tour with the Old Vic Theatre Company. Dench is only the latest high-profile Broadway star to bow out in recent months. During the 1998-1999 season, both Nicole Kidman and Brian Dennehy became sick, causing the cancellation of several performances of, respectively, The Blue Room and Death of a Salesman.
Ticket holders interested in obtaining a refund may do so at the Barrymore Theatre or by returning tickets to P.O. Box 998, Times Square Station, New York, NY 10108-0998. Include credit card information and billing address on credit card purchases.